Our Puppies

Celebrating Regal Golden Puppies .......

About Us

Our goal is to breed and raise exceptional quality British Style Golden Retrievers. Our bloodlines are from only the most respected kennels worldwide. We are members of the Canadian Kennel Club, UK Kennel Club and GRCC and strictly adhere to their code of ethics. Our breeding dogs have passed all health clearances for eyes, heart, hips and elbows.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hugo and Heidi’s Litter – Week Four

What a great week we've had!

“The Coma”

There’s no question that this group is well-fed. This week, the puppies began to wean and were introduced to mush: a canine smoothie comprised of moistened puppy food, oatmeal, goat’s milk, supplements, probiotics and honey. The convention with mush when it’s introduced to a new group is that the puppies typically sniff at it, shake their heads or walk away until we dab a little on their mouths to coax them into trying it. It didn’t take long before all hands (or feet) were on deck or in the food bowl with everyone anxious to see what all the fuss was about. Mealtime goes on for quite a while because the puppies also get to enjoy dessert by helping to clean each other up. And mom is right there to deal with any spots they may have missed.

Meanwhile in the living room, the extension was added to the whelping box to give the pups more room to stagger around in or try their hand at the play station. The puppies are also enjoying some stuffed animals and engaging with us or their siblings. The added benefit of having two litters occupying the living room is that the moms check up on each other’s litters or the one will follow the other into a whelping box to help do a dorm inspection. They don’t necessarily offer the puppies any extra-familial feedings, but at least they do ensure that everyone’s happy. At this point we don’t think that either mom is in any big hurry to subject themselves to each puppy’s twenty-eight razor sharp teeth.

Last weekend, some friends and a few local future families came to visit. There was a great deal of interaction between the families and Surrey’s litter. With Heidi’s litter; not so much. In their defense, they’d had a big breakfast followed by a milkshake from mom so some of the little ones were experiencing milk comas. Not the least of which, since they’re the younger litter, they do need the most amount of sleep. One thing we can guarantee is that they’ll be ready to take on the world by the time their stay here comes to an end.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another heart-warming installment of “Puppy Tales”.
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Storm and Surrey Litter – Week Five

Our big adventure outside!

“The Extraction”

It began as a pleasant afternoon outside with Surrey, her puppies and Heidi who was out for a little fresh air herself. It was the puppies’ first time out and they did not disappoint. Some litters are a little tentative during their inaugural outing. Many puppies will stand there and tremble for several moments while they take in the vastness of a new universe outside their whelping box. Not this crowd. They embraced it as though they’d been playing outside their entire lives! They chased their mom, chased us, climbed over top of us and played in our laps. The mood was very relaxed and we even lay out on some blankets while the puppies carried on. Suddenly it happened without warning. We did not have a protocol in place to rescue a puppy that has crawled up inside the back of one’s shirt. Miss Shimmer kept her cool and waited patiently for the extraction to be undertaken and fortunately we did not have to call the fire department for this one.

The dynamic in the whelping box is also changing. The puppies are spending much more time awake interacting with each other. Something we’ve rarely witnessed with other moms is that Surrey would sit outside the opening of the whelping box for long periods of time just watching her kids at play. She typically sleeps down the hall or on the cool tile floor in the kitchen, but frequently makes her way inside to clean and check up on her brood or provide a snack to supplement the three meals of gruel they are getting daily. Admittedly Surrey does abscond with some of the puppies’ toys to cuddle with herself, but she is being a terrific, loving mom.

The gang was very well-behaved as they received visitors over the weekend. Everyone got a major dose of cuddling while some of their guests seemed to work through a mental checklist of every puppy to hold so no one would be left out. They doled out licks and kisses, nibbled on watches and lapped up all of the attention they were getting. It’s a good thing that the puppies only need to take short naps to get recharged for each new group of visitors so they didn’t miss out on too much loving. Of course the moms made sure they got lots of attention of their own. After all, that’s what Goldens spend their lives in pursuit of.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another regal installment of “Puppy Tales”.
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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Hugo and Heidi’s Litter – Week Three

We love cuddles.

“The Pilgrimage”

She knew the odds were slim, but she had to try. Her timing had to be just right and there hadn’t been an opportunity for a dry run. It was now or never. The whelping box had just been cleaned out and there was a single slat separating the mini-pack and their “freedom”. With a few quick steps, Miss Mulberry thrust herself up and over the “wall” into the living room. But where to now? “Oh dear” she must have thought. “I may as well just wait here until somebody comes by to lift me back in again.” And so ended Miss Mulberry’s pilgrimage mere minutes later.

The highlight for Heidi’s litter is that their eyes have opened. At this stage, the puppies have hazy vision and can only differentiate between light and dark, but this will clear up very quickly over the next week or so as they begin to experience normal sight. They are able to hear quite well as soon as their ear canals have opened. No doubt they will be spending some time trying to figure out who the heck all these other “folks” are!

Thanks to Heidi’s tenacity in feeding them, the puppies are growing rapidly and it’s amazing to watch the transformation every day as they become more mobile and aspects of their personalities begin to emerge. When they’re not sleeping or eating, the gang spends time playing with one another. They are ambling around getting acquainted, greeting their siblings with a gentle head butt. With this being the beginning of a key socialization period for the puppies, they are testing each other’s limits and learning the difference between hard and soft biting. They also take turns sleeping at the top and bottom of the sibling pile. Since their hunting and chasing instincts are emerging, they practice with their siblings or their plush toys (unless mom has absconded with them).

The gang now has a new play station which will help them develop their strength, co-ordination and cognitive skills. It’s essentially a mobile that consists of hoops and rings and an assortment of colourful little figures. The only thing missing is a Rubik’s cube…..maybe next week!

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another inspiring installment of “Puppy Tales”.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Storm and Surrey Litter – Week Four

We love our meals!

“The V.I.P. Lounge”

There’s a lot that’s happened in the little world known as Surrey’s whelping box. For starters, the group has moved from the bedroom to the living room. It sounds simple enough, but Surrey needed to be convinced that no one was left behind. Before she settled in, she examined each pile of towels en route to the washing machine to ensure there wasn’t a puppy hiding in it. To Surrey’s benefit though, this venue is more like a V.I.P. lounge in that it has sofa she can relax on and access to a private section of the yard that she and fellow mom, Heidi can hang out in. Not only was there a change in venue, but an extension was added to the whelping box to double its size. Now that the puppies are growing, they need a bit more space to allow them to pick up speed as they scramble from end to end.

This week saw the introduction of the puppies to gruel or mush:  a healthy concoction of kibble, oatmeal, honey, goat’s milk and vitamins to supplement the feedings they get from their mom. One would think that as British puppies they would have a reserved approach to mealtime, but such was not the case. Even with the inaugural bowl, the group drained the entire thing. Unencumbered by etiquette, Mr. Denim prefers to stand in the bowl while he’s chowing down. This is where teamwork plays a part. Whenever Mr. Denim removed one of his feet from the bowl, Miss Blossom would lay down beside him to clean off his feet. While Surrey is spending a lot more time pursuing her favourite pastimes such as sleeping and watching for squirrels, she still keeps the milk bar open 24/7 for top-ups.

To work off the effects of some of this fine dining, the puppies now have gym memberships. This comes with an elaborate play station at their disposal as well as numerous plush toys. The little ones are developing their strength, co-ordination and cognitive skills as well as learning how to engage in an activity with a littermate, even if it’s just bumping heads. Since their hunting and chasing instincts are emerging, they practice with their siblings or their plush toys. One day, the trio of Miss Plum, Mr. Shine and Mr. Cardinal decided to expand the boundaries of their complex by sneaking over a slat and making a break for it in the living room. The three were quickly apprehended and returned to the comfort of their whelping box until such time as their memberships are upgraded to include the V.I.P. lounge.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another enthralling installment of “Puppy Tales”.
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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hugo and Heidi’s Litter – Week Two

Cosy and content!

“Hide and Go Seek”

This week, we relocated both Heidi and Surrey along with their new families to the living room. While everything was set up identically to the original venue in the bedroom, both moms had some difficulty in adjusting to their new surroundings. They simply weren’t sold on the idea. They sniffed around to make sure we had put each litter in the correct whelping box and made certain that no one was left behind. The moms also had to get adjusted to the presence of the rest of our pack, albeit from a distance. They regarded the other dogs suspiciously until everyone got settled in. On the bright side, Heidi now has the freedom to share one end of a sofa with Surrey whenever she’s in need of a well-deserved power nap. The living room is also a gateway to the puppy run outside where the group will eventually be introduced to the great outdoors. In the meantime, the moms use the space for a bit of exercise or just to hang out on a warm, sunny day.

The puppies are getting their own exercise right in the comfort of their own “home”, aka the whelping box.  When they lay there sleeping, they are constantly twitching – a state known as “activated sleep”. These involuntary actions help strengthen their leg muscles and build muscle mass. The net result is that they are now able to walk on all fours; however “wobble” would be more apropos.

Mealtime is always entertaining and as the excitement builds when the pups notice that Heidi has brought the milk truck around. They scurry around to jockey for a good spot at the counter and nurse with a marked exuberance, their tiny fists pumping their mom’s reservoirs urging the vital nectar to flow. This has culminated in each puppy more than tripling their birth weight. Notwithstanding her new leisure arrangements, mom’s on call around the clock to tend to every whimper. Admittedly, Heidi administers some of the quicker meals sitting up like a mobile milk bar or meals on wheels, but she loves her little ones. She cares for all of their needs but one: we’re responsible for running the nail salon to keep them groomed.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another captivating installment of “Puppy Tales”.
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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Storm and Surrey Litter – Week Three

Just had a taste of momma's food. Yum yum!

“The Uninvited Dinner Guests”

For some of us, it’s all about food. And it was certainly no exception for Mr. Cardinal and Miss Blossom. While the rest of the pack has been content with the liquid diet provided by their mom, one day these two decided to distract Surrey long enough to dive into her dinner bowl to try to get their first taste of solid food. They were however caught in the act and will just have to wait their turn later in the week with the rest of the group for a meal that’s a bit better suited for young puppies.

While the little ones do spend a great deal of time eating and sleeping, they are also engaged in an intensive training programme. While they lay there asleep, the puppies are constantly twitching. These involuntary actions, referred to as “activated sleep”, help strengthen their leg muscles allowing them to stagger around on all fours like sailors on shore leave after last call. Since Surrey continually mounds the towels that line the floor of the whelping box, this forces the puppies to climb over these obstacles to reach their target (usually the milk bar or a sibling to sleep on) thereby building muscle mass.

Now that their vision is established beyond simply being able to detect light, dark and movement, the puppies are becoming increasingly curious about their surroundings and each other. As they are beginning to get acquainted with their littermates, they can often be seen standing in a group gently colliding or rubbing their noses and heads against one another whether awake or asleep. This is the beginning of a key period for the puppies as they are developing rudimentary social skills. They are testing each other’s limits and learning the difference between hard and soft biting and they also take turns sleeping at the top and bottom of the sibling pile. They are also curious about the humans around them and they aren’t particularly shy either. Pig-rails are rails around the inside of the whelping box that are there to help prevent mom from accidentally squishing one of her kids. When we were raising the rails up to accommodate the puppies’ growth, they wasted no time to wander over, gaze up into our eyes and to nibble on our hands while they were trying to figure out what we were up to. We’re sure it won’t be long before they have it all figured out!

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another nail-biting installment of “Puppy Tales”.
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Friday, June 10, 2016

Hugo and Heidi’s Litter – Week One

So comfortable!

“Let’s Stick Together”

Heidi treated us to one of those rare daytime deliveries. In fact, she worked on the basis of a regular work day in that she started heavy contractions at 1:00 p.m. (after our lunch) and before long Mr. Granite made his debut. He was followed by Miss Chestnut, Miss Peach, Mr. Thistle, Miss Meadow, Miss Mulberry and Miss Sky who capped off the work day at 5:00 p.m. Heidi jumped right into overtime and wasted no time getting to work. Apart from nursing, her other task in the immediate was to stimulate her newborn pups to eliminate by licking them – something they are unable to do on their own at this stage.

While most Goldens have ten teats and our Bella has eleven, Heidi has been endowed with eight of which only six are functional. And those six are enormous to the point that the little newborns had extreme difficulty fitting them into their tiny mouths. Fortunately after some mouth exercises, everyone got the hang of it. We were also delighted that the group of seven was able to work out their own rotation at the milk bar and all started gaining weight right away. We weigh the puppies at least twice daily for the first couple of weeks to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity. Mind you, Heidi is an experienced, focused and loving mother so everyone doubled their birth weight by the end of the first week.

Littermates tend to be very close throughout their formative weeks, but two of them took it to an extreme one day. Somehow the tip of Miss Meadow’s Velcro collar had lifted and caught that of Mr. Thistle. After the two of them rolled around once or twice, they were a neat little bundle of fluff all velcroed together that we needed to extricate.

Since the gestation period in dogs is short, the tradeoff is that puppies are quite helpless at birth. Biologists refer to species that produce immature dependent offspring as altricial, which means “to nurse, to rear or to nourish”. It refers to the need for the young of these species to be fed and taken care of for a long period of time. The puppies are born functionally deaf since their ear canals are closed. They are also blind, since their eyelids are tightly closed, but both will open during the second week. Newborn puppies are also unable to regulate their own body temperature and for the first three weeks, their temperature climbs one degree until it reaches the normal range. When mom is on her break, we use a heat lamp to keep everyone warm and cozy, but when mom’s around, they’ll either snuggle up with her or lay intertwined with their siblings – sometimes even velcroed.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another enchanting installment of “Puppy Tales”.
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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Storm and Surrey Litter – Week Two

Our eyes have opened!

“The Skating Rink”

Miss Surrey is a lady who knows what she wants. And what she wants at this stage of the game is to be comfortable. The whelping box is lined with soft pads and layered with plush towels to provide comfort for Surrey and her brood. This however is not to Surrey’s liking. Surrey prefers to push all the towels away into a heap so that she can lie on the smooth, cool vinyl base of the whelping box. A challenge arises here in that the fat pack (so named because they’ve managed to billow out quite nicely), must now skate along this slippery surface in order to reach mom for a snack. Since they have no traction, once they’re poised at the milk bar, the puppies virtually have to run on the spot in order to push up against mom and enjoy their meals. Surrey’s a smart girl so she may be counting on her pups getting some exercise in during their meal breaks to help them maintain their figures.

To add to the confusion, Surrey now likes to lie on her back while she sleeps. The puppies initially found this quite confusing as all of the equipment they’d been using was no longer in a familiar place. This caused them to whimper a great deal so until they got the hang of it, we had to line them up along Surrey’s midsection and even deposit one or two on top of her belly. The ever-hungry Miss Blossom and Mr. Cardinal don’t like to be kept waiting and squeak the loudest. Since mom has led by example, now many of the puppies sleep on their backs.

One of the most exciting events for us is when the puppies’ eyes open. Many of their critical organs including their brain are not fully formed and they will spend several weeks developing rapidly. The same is true of the eyes. Puppies are born with their eyelids tightly shut because the eye itself is still developing and is extremely fragile. The closed eyelids serve as a barrier to protect the eyes from potential damage. Now that their eyes are open, it will take a few weeks before their eyes mature and their eyesight begins to approach normal. The ear canals begin to open at around the same time, but the ears are much more fully formed than the eyes and their hearing will become quite acute within a week or so.

Newborn puppies are unable to regulate their own body temperature and for the first three weeks, their temperature climbs one degree until it reaches the normal range. When mom is on her break, we use a heat lamp to keep everyone warm and cozy, but when mom’s around, they’ll either snuggle up with her or lay intertwined with their siblings. That’s what friends are for.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another riveting installment of “Puppy Tales”.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Storm and Surrey Litter – Week One

Miss Plum snuggles with mommy.

“Catch Me if You Can”

We’re sure Mr. Cardinal didn’t see this one coming. One minute he was nestled in the comfort of his mother’s belly and the next he was the subject of a mid-air rescue on the concrete patio outside the bedroom. After all, both Mr. Denim and Miss Shimmer who preceded him were gently deposited onto a plush and cozy king size bed. Unlike some other moms, Miss Surrey was in no hurry to deliver her litter. The norm was around an hour and a half between puppies, but fortunately she tossed in a couple of consolation prizes at thirty minutes each or so. Mr. Shine and his sister Miss Blossom were the next ones to make their appearance and then we waited and we waited. Finally Surrey decided it was time to go outside to the bathroom again, but she was mistaken about the sensation she was experiencing as Miss Plum also made her debut in mid-air halfway out of the bedroom porch door. This mom’s sure not particular as to where she drops her kids off!

Despite her dubious delivery practices, Surrey is a stellar mom and has embraced motherhood with tremendous zeal. As several of the puppies were busily nursing, Surrey was licking them so enthusiastically that they were flopping up and down, latched onto a nipple for dear life. We were doing our utmost to keep the newborns dry and warm while Surrey was taking us to task by cleaning and stimulating them until they were all drenched again. She eventually eased into a calmer style of motherhood. One thing that was interesting to observe was that upon her return from a bathroom break, Surrey would do a sweep of the bedroom and sniff the weigh scale in search of puppies before she reentered the whelping box…..just to be sure! We weigh the puppies at least twice daily for the first week to ensure that everyone is getting equal access to the milk bar so Surrey was definitely on the right track.

Apart from nourishment, a mom’s milk contains antibodies vital to the puppies’ survival for the first several weeks of their lives. Surrey proved to be very magnanimous as a mother, spending virtually every waking and sleeping moment in the whelping box for the first several days nursing her youngsters. This allowed them to double in weight toward the end of the first week. In fact this group was so rotund that whenever a puppy rolled on it back with legs paddling in the air, they had to be helped onto their stomachs so they could continue on their journey to the milk bar. As the week wore on, Surrey relaxed a little and periodically jumped up on our bed to get a cuddle or nibble on a bone before returning to work.

That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another beguiling installment of “Puppy Tales”.
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